Commissioned Corps officers honored

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Lt. Cmdr. Buttke
Lt. Cmdr. Danielle Buttke
Capt. Landy
Capt. Ronald B. Landy

Several U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers were honored for their work to improve public health.

The U.S. Public Health Service Ebola Responder Team from 2015 received the 2015 USPHS Veterinary Category’s Commissioned Corps Veterinary Responder of the Year Award. The award honors 10 officers for their work on the Ebola epidemic that started in 2014. Previously, the 2014 award also was given to Ebola epidemic responders.

The award honors Lt. Tara Anderson, Cmdr. Stacey Bosch, Capt. Kris Bisgard, Lt. Cmdr. Danielle Buttke, Capt. Kris K. Carter, Cmdr. Mary Anne Duncan, Lt. Lizette O. Durand, Cmdr. Jeff McCollum, Lt. Cmdr. Linda Capewell Pimentel, and Cmdr. Temeri Wilder-Kofie. The award announcement also mentions accomplishments by Cmdr. Bryan Buss and Cmdr. Christa Hale, who were honored in the 2014 award and, therefore, excluded from the 2015 award.

An award announcement describes activities such as research, virus presence testing, deployment coordination, epidemiology, risk evaluation, protocol development, national guidance development and distribution, field team support and management, administration, communication, security coordination, training, and potential contamination monitoring.

One of those award winners, Dr. Buttke, one-health coordinator for the National Park Service, received two more awards. She received the Veterinary Junior Officer of the Year Award from the USPHS and the 2016 Dr. Daniel E. Salmon Award from the National Association of Federal Veterinarians.

The former honored her for accomplishments in prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, among other animal-related human health issues; leadership demonstrating the value of veterinary public health through work in environmental and wildlife health; passion and enthusiasm in promoting veterinary public health; and effort in assuming additional responsibilities in 2015 during an unexpected staffing reduction that coincided with tularemia and plague outbreaks.

The Salmon award honored her for establishing a national one-health program that improved park service employee understanding of, engagement in, and management of infectious diseases affecting humans, wildlife, and the environment. It includes training and education to prevent zoonotic disease in park visitors and employees, a research program, a one-health internship program, and a cross-disciplinary Disease Outbreak Investigation Team that can provide evaluation, investigation, and risk communication on substantial disease concerns in parks.

She also developed a national wildlife morbidity and mortality surveillance system that tracks human and wildlife public health threats and wildlife diagnostics.

Capt. Ronald B. Landy, a regional science liaison for the Environmental Protection Agency, received the 2016 James H. Steele One Health Outstanding PHS Veterinary Career Award for his 33 years with the uniformed services. His work in environmental health has emphasized translation of science into applications for policy and regulation.

Dr. Landy worked as an environmental health officer for the U.S. Air Force and a veterinary medical toxicologist for the Food and Drug Administration before joining the EPA. Before taking his current job, he worked for the EPA as a regional expert toxicologist, senior adviser on pesticide and toxic chemical regulatory development, chief of the Office of Research and Development Regional Scientist Program, regional scientist, and acting director of the regional science program, as well as a member or chair of committees within the department.

He championed a program for providing research support to high-priority science needs, and his work helped quadruple resources for the program and raise its profile. He also developed a program that helps technical staff in EPA regional offices travel to ORD laboratories, integrate cutting-edge research into their work, and receive professional development opportunities. And he developed a concept to nurture collaboration among EPA regions and the ORD on research and science delivery during severe budget cuts.

He also developed a novel method for increasing engagement with academic institutions through the Science to Achieve Results program of the National Center for Environmental Research. And he worked to recruit and advise potential new officers for the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.